Cheol Joon Baek
Storm damage breakdown
85 City crews from the Forestry, Parks and Solid Waste departments involved in ice storm tree cleanup operations, including 15 crews from other municipalities.
115 Private contractors hired to help with cleanup. Jim Harnum, head of Solid Waste Management, says businesses were asked to give the city their best price.
$150-$400 What the city is paying private crews per hour.
50% Approximate proportion of work completed so far. Some 1,500 parks, waterways and ravines have yet to be sorted out, and that could take up to eight weeks.
15 Number of local sites to which large tree debris is being trucked for chipping, including four snow dump sites. Smaller trees and branches are chipped curbside.
0 Trees that will end up in landfill. Harnum says the debris will all be turned into compost or mulch.
GTA's colour code
On Friday, January 17, most of the GTA's mayors and regional chairs got together to hash out a resolution on funding for ice storm recovery. Afterward they held a joint press conference, a rare opportunity to view them lined up together. Between 40 and 50 per cent of Greater Toronto Area residents identify themselves as visible minorities. Some recent Twitter-based crowdsourcing by journalist and permanent-resident voting activist Desmond Cole concluded that only two Canadian cities of significant size have people of colour at the helm: Calgary (Mayor Naheed Nenshi is of South Asian descent) and Windsor (Mayor Eddie Francis is of Lebanese descent). Francis will not be running for re-election.
Across the street from the U.S. Consulate at University and Armoury, Saturday, January 11. Protesters say Iraqi forces killed Iranian refugees in an attack on Camp Ashraf in northeast Iraq. The U.S. transferred control of the refugee camp to the Iraqi government in 2009. In April 2011, several months before the U.S. completed its military withdrawal from the country, Iraqi security forces stormed the camp, reportedly killing 36 people and injuring hundreds more.
Photo by Diane Slawych
This spot over Yonge-Dundas Square should be among the most valuable advertising spaces in the country. It has been vacant since at least the peak holiday shopping season.
Photo by Jonathan Goldsbie
UPDATE (1/25/2014, 2 pm): Clear Channel Outdoor Canada, the owner of the sign, is currently reconfiguring the structure for the purpose of installing a new, rectangular LED screen where the south-facing tower circle used to be. They obtained a variance from the city in September. "I think the construction started probably in November," says Clear Channel president John Jory. "We're working towards the spring launch of a new advertiser on top of the tower."